Yesterday I received a request from a book author for permission to use material from this 2012 post of mine in a new book. After refreshing my memory, I said yes (and decided to repost it). Categorize it under little known facts.
Use polarizers and certain types of materials
To create some interesting effects
A technique for abstract images
Or just some indoor rainy day fun
Cellophane (like you’ve never seen it before)
Several sheets of crumpled cellophane
Sandwiched between two polarizers
If a birefringent material is placed between two polarizing sheets
A world of colorful magic appears
In the image above the material was cellophane
One comes across strange discoveries while copying music from CD’s to the cloud
________________________________________________________ If you were paying attention you noticed that three elements are needed –
While waiting for a CD to finish, I noticed a circular polarizer on the desk and
Looked through it at an empty CD case sitting in front of a monitor
Wow! Interesting colors
And – they change as I rotate the polarizer
One thing lead to another (with some Googling) and I learned about
Birefringent materials and
Interesting properties they exhibit with polarized light
Later I looked at some cellophane from CD wrappers on the desk
Wow! Neat! Cellophane is birefringent, too
Crumple up a few sheets and close them in an empty jewel case
Lean it against the LCD monitor face and
Voila – today’s image
Two polarizers, and
Birefringent material sandwiched between the polarizersI just described using one circular polarizer and looking at birefringent material in front of a monitor
SO – where’s the 2nd polarizer??
It’s the LCD monitor
LCD monitors emit polarized light BECAUSE they contain polarizing materialsThe identical result can be accomplished with two actual polarizers (and no monitor)
Crumple some cellophane and squeeze it between two circular polarizers
and here’s what you’d see
Crumpled cellophane between two circular polarizers
Held up to natural light at a window________________________________________________________ Here’s a short slide show that shows what these look like as one polarizer is rotated.
Colors shift dramatically
What was once blue may turn to red, green, yellow, ….
With a slight turn of the polarizer
It’s a polarizer KALEIDOSCOPE! (patent pending 😉 )________________________________________________________ The birefringent material’s color depends on
Type of Material
Material angle, ….The artist, Austine, has created art for 40 years using this technique
Her work is mind-blowingly amazing (& beautiful)
She calls her works Polages (from polarized light collage)
Check out her site for an eye-opener
This video is especially captivating
And – if you’re technically inclined there’s
A quick look at polarizers with no in-between birefringent material.Top Row – 2nd “polarizer” is the part of the LCD monitor that polarizes light; 1st polarizer is hand held circular polarizer Bottom Row – two “real circular polarizers” Left column – Polarizers are aligned with one another giving the appearance of clear glass Right column – Polarizers are “crossed” (one is rotated 90 degrees from its “clear glass” orientation) Note 1 – When “crossed”, the light coming through the far polarizer is almost total blocked by the near polarizer. This is what polarizers do.
At rotations between 0 & 90 the amount of light changes gradually as the polarizer is rotatedNote 2 – Do you think if you screwed two polarizers together on your lens, you could use this clear glass to opaque glass transition caused by turning one polarizer to create a variable neutral density filter? Think about it. (This is a practical take away from this geeky light-show stuff.) ________________________________________________________ That’s it for today. Tune in tomorrow. You never know what strange topics await. Photography is all about capturing light and light (not to mention the human visual system) is so amazing, surprising, and…. well, who knows what’s coming in future posts. I have a few more volumes to explore (just a small sampling of my style of reading) – Hey, you can go anywhere to learn about routine stuff like exposure, rule-of-thirds, whatever…. – the list never ends. Google any of them and you’ll get 1,000’s of hits (including 100’s by yours truly). However, very few of them tell you fun stuff like how to make images like Monet’s paintings (use the site’s right side-bar search feature if you’re curious). What to write tomorrow??? ________________________________________________________ Subscribe (see sidebar) and don’t miss anything. New posts daily.
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